Sylvia Emmerson is on the Cover of Citylink magazine in South Florida.
She was named one of the 5 artists to know in 2011….
here is what Citylink had to say about her…
While performing heartfelt, quiet songs such as “I Could’ve Died” at places such as Churchill’s Pub in Miami, Sylvia Emmerson often doesn’t notice when the patrons are ignoring her to chatter noisily among themselves.
“For me, it’s just as gratifying to be up there personally as it is to [think] that I might be impacting somebody,” she says. “So I play my music and hope that there’s maybe even one person in the crowd who’s listening. If that’s the case I will play my best show ever. I feel like if I stick to my guns and play passionately, there are times when I’ll see the audience go from talking very loud and then slowly, through the set, becoming intrigued and interested. It’s an amazing feeling.”
Emmerson, who released the four-song EP For All Who Wander Jan. 1 on Forward Motion Records, feels at home onstage and says becoming a musician was a no-brainer. Her mother is a pianist, her grandfather was a drummer, and her parents often took her to concerts by artists as diverse as Fiona Apple, Eric Clapton and Marilyn Manson. “They were always interested in finding out about new bands and had a really laidback attitude, so they were never really shocked by acts like that,” she says of Manson. “In fact, they listened to them as much as I did.”
Emmerson was 10 when she got an acoustic guitar for Christmas and 12 when she began taking voice lessons. At 14, she released a demo, performed at SunFest and began playing electric guitar with rock and metal bands at the Culture Room, Revolution Live and the Seminole Hard Rock. From seventh grade onward, school never interfered with her music. “With home school, you can condense all of those lessons into three hours and have the rest of your day free,” she says. “So I spent the majority of my time working on music and playing shows. When I was 17, I was able to play out of town and out of state when I probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity when I was in school.”
But last year, Emmerson, now 24, returned to her first love, acoustic guitar. “I felt like I’d grown a lot as a person and changed. Being alone in my room and writing these songs on acoustic guitar was very intimate,” she says. “I write in the way a person would write in their journal and I found it was a great way to express all my thoughts and ideas and purge and heal myself. The intimacy of that singer-songwriter style and just being alone with my instrument and playing really hooked me.”
“Wide Awake,” her EP’s opener, is about that pivotal moment when she decided to go solo. “It’s morning, and I’m washing clean,” she sings. “The sun it holds a mirror up to me/And I’m hurt by the things I see/It’s obvious the night before/It had its way with me/I don’t think I’ve ever been, all I can be.”
“The song is about the moment where I woke up in my life and saw myself for who I really was and I wasn’t digging it,” she explains. “I felt like there was a lot I wanted to change about myself. I wanted to grow and become the person, musician, daughter and friend that I always wanted to be in the world.”
Fernando Perdomo, who founded Forward Motion Records and co-produced For All Who Wander, met Emmerson when playing guitar on her demo 10 years ago and encountered her again last year. “The minute I heard ‘Wide Awake,’ an acoustic demo on her MySpace [page],” Perdomo says, “I was compelled and knew what type of atmosphere I wanted to create production-wise — dark, twangy guitars and very fat-sounding drums played with brushes. On most of the record, we covered the entire drum set in a sheet to give it that dark, almost the Band- or Wilco-like, woody feel to it. I feel like everything about it is warm, and the vibe I get is that she’s a welcoming host to a very dark party, like, ‘Come into my world and I’m going to freak you out, but it’s going to be very comfortable.’ ”
What’s freaky, apparently, is her knack for revealing truths. “She’s an honest, very poignant writer,” Perdomo says. “Her lyrical style is not an easy pill to swallow. It’s a little disturbing and I love it. You feel like a voyeur when you listen to the lyrics, because this is the kind of stuff you find out in diaries.”
— Colleen Dougher